When Karen Sullivan of #OrendaBooks handed me an ARC of #Exquisite by Sarah Stovell I was immediately blown away by the cover AND the title and I knew that being an Orenda book then it was going to be a read that enthralled me – but let’s just say I didn’t realise just quite how much it would take a hold of me! Trust me when I say this, this book is going to be one of the most talked about books of this year!
Then when Anne from randomthingsthroughmyletterbox then asked me if I’d like to be part of the #BlogTour for the book I was literally whooping with joy! So it is a massive thank you to Orenda, Anne, and Sarah for inviting me to be a part of this #BlogTour! Let’s do this!
What the blurb says:
Bo Luxton has it all—a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of best-selling books to her name. Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend. When they meet at a writers’ retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops. Or does it? Breathlessly pacey, taut and terrifying, Exquisite is a startlingly original and unbalancing psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page.
OMG, what have I just read! Probably one of the most sinister, chilling and terrifying thrillers that has fallen into my hands this year! Bo Luxton is a successful author, living the perfect life in the Lake District. Alice Dark, on the other hand, is drifting through life from one disaster to another in Brighton. When the two meet at a writer’s retreat then what happens next blew my mind! I was taken on a harrowing journey of twisted and tortured entanglements between two women that left me shaking with terror right from the beginning!
The narrative in #Exquisite is intense, it is emotive and it delivers an insidious plot which wormed its way into my very soul. From the breathtaking beauty of the Lake District to the seedy bedsit land of Brighton, my imagination was captured from page one!
Bo and Alice are our narrators throughout the book and initially, we are given a picture of two women who appear to be poles apart but the tension and suspense that builds from the start of the book leaves you in no doubt that we are dealing with some very damaged characters here! Both women have a dark past that they appear to be trying to bury in their respective presents. My sense of unease grew as I turned each page, just how unreliable were the narrators, who was manipulating who? who could I trust? There is so much I want to say about them but I don’t want to give any spoilers, all I can do is urge you to buy this book and read it.
It was not easy to warm to either woman in this character driven novel and for me that is ok, I don’t need to “like” the characters for a book to satisfy me and sometimes I just relish the unlikable! By the end of the book, my sympathy did fall down in one camp but you will need to read it to find out what camp that was! Of course, there are other characters in the book that play a part in the story but such is the strength of Sarah’s writing, you get the sense of watching an eerie duologue being played out in front of your eyes.
#Exquisite explores relationships, vulnerability, manipulation, and control and it does so in the most alarming manner. It is so charmingly twisted that you will have no idea of the outcome until the very last page! This book has burned its way into my very being. I still find myself pondering over the lives of Alice and Bo. It is a fascinating and riveting read that will entice you with every page you turn! Don’t miss it!